02 April 2012 (released)
09 April 2012
The time has finally come for Scottish music fans, when they can avoid the inconvenience of having to skip between singles to hear music from one of the country’s best bands, as Hip Parade release their full debut album ‘I’ll Be Your Audience’. Hip Parade have come a long way since their time on Orange Unsigned, and have now produced a collection of catchy fun-pop-indie trademark songs. It’s very rare to like every track on an album, but with I’ll be Your Audience, Hip Parade have made an art out of it and created the best album from a Scottish band so far this year.
It’s phenomenally nice to see that Hip Parade have not neglected any of the singles that made their name so big, and have incorporated them in to I’ll be Your Audience. ‘Katie Goes Dancing’ opens the album as an energetic and popular track, immediately representing the effervescent sound of Hip Parade. ‘Dynamite’ shows off the cheeky, chirpy fun side of the band, as the controversial lyrics are brushed over by a coating of contagious chorus content. ‘Catastrophe’ and ‘Girl On the Radio’ are still very prominent songs, as they were when they were released as singles. The two songs boast the band’s strong ability to write pop hooks, with a light-hearted flow and summer feel to them.
Most recent single ‘Talk To Me’ is by far the most commercial track on the album. This song comes across as if it was simply written for the radio; it shows off musicianship and professionalism in writing, with a hearty sing-a-long chorus. Talk To Me is a totally cracking tune, bound to justify it’s time on the radio, but it’s also reassuring to hear Hip Parade have not scrapped or strayed from their originality or quirkiness. The album is used as a platform to launch a bundle of new songs, the highlight of which being ‘Getting Chased’. Getting Chased pulls those trademark Scottish-accented vocals to the forefront, sounding like a guy in a pub drunkenly rambling through an exaggerated tale of Easterhouse. The song is fast and funny, and is absolutely the track that captures everything Hip Parade are about.
The quirkiness latches on to similar highlight tracks ‘Dilemma’ and ‘Last Chance’, as the band apply everything they have learned through intense touring, gigging and writing together to create these musical beauties. Hip Parade can easily be compared to analogous likeable Scottish bands The View, Parka or Sergeant, but appear to explore their accent, roots and taste in music far deeper to generate a much more unique and original sound. There is a definite sound of Summer rolled in to the album too, not just through ‘Waiting for the Sunshine’, but in the way that every song sounds like they should be performed at a music festival
I’ll Be Your Audience is the newest release from Scottish band Hip Parade as they take on the challenge of putting a full album together. As mentioned already, it’s very difficult to conjure up an album where every song is insanely good, but with ‘I’ll Be Your Audience’, the band have created an album where anyone of the songs could be plucked at random to be their next single because they are all so good. Hip Parade have pulled out all the stops, to fashion not just one of the best albums to come out of Scotland this year, but one of the best albums of 2012 full stop.